Distributed Energy Resources: Seizing Opportunities While Managing Distribution Grid Impacts

DERs offer substantial opportunities to shift utilities toward a more sustainable and resilient energy system. This can yield significant economic and environmental benefits for utilities and renewable developers. The challenge is to deploy DERs in ways that support the evolution of more flexible power grids.

This paper identifies many of the issues that can hinder or derail promising DER initiatives and explores strategies utilities and developers can use to ensure projects deliver their promised benefits.

Cracking the Code to Grid Congestion

The Greensmith Energy white paper, Cracking the Code to Grid Congestion, addresses data management practices in the utility industry, identifying deficiencies that disrupt energy transmission and remedies that can vastly improve system performance. The modernization effort builds upon information technology solutions that have revolutionized other industries, such as passenger transportation and hospitality, as evidenced by the rise of companies like Uber and Airbnb. In this context, the emergence of energy storage is transformative, taking a system made for centralized power generation and one-way power flow and tapping unlimited potential for energy production and consumption on the network’s every node.

Not Just Another App: How to Spur Digital Engagement in the Energy Industry

As energy providers work diligently to close the gap between existing capabilities and increasing customer expectations, a major challenge is meeting customers where they are - on mobile. Having different interfaces for billing, outage notifications, energy efficiency, demand management and call center inquiries creates a disjointed and complicated experience. How can energy providers capitalize on existing investments and programs while delivering consistent, simple interactions that today’s consumers have grown to expect?

Download the white paper to find out.

Storage 101 for Solar Installers

GTM Research estimates that the U.S. energy storage market could be a $2 billion market by 2020. Many states are examining or radically changing their net metering and energy policies, and smart installers are thinking about adding storage offerings to their portfolios. What’s missing is the roadmap to get there. Enphase has put together an easy-to-read guide that takes a look at the eight questions residential installers should be asking themselves in order to help their customers prepare to add energy storage to their PV and meet the growing demand for fully integrated energy management solutions.

Solar Power Plant Reliability – Why Should We Care?

Solar is following wind power by a few years in its meteoric path to volume, and has the opportunity to avoid the difficult early stage lessons that wind and nuclear industries had to experience the hard way. The methods and roadmap to reduce long term power plant risk is clear: test new technologies before deploying in volume, establish consistent industry standards for structural design, and utilize well established technical predictive tools to evaluate and account for long term maintenance costs. Failed companies and impaired project assets which act as a brake on industry growth can be easily prevented.

System Design Using Sungrow String Inverters

String inverters are becoming the most common style of inverter used with PV power systems ranging from 500kW to 20MW.  The goal of good system designers is to construct systems that maximize overall performance, while keeping the inverters operating within their design limits.  This paper is a very clear and easy explanation of the best ways to select string sizes as well as the optimum DC to AC ratios for the Sungrow string inverters.  Understanding the relationship between the string voltage, MPPT operations within the inverter, and how to take advantage of the 110% “overload” capacity will help maximize both system performance and the return on investment for systems that properly employ Sungrow string inverters.

Utility Security: Exceeding Mandates to Mitigate Risk

Security is more than just a regulatory-driven necessity for utilities; it has become a business imperative. Most utilities can no longer do business effectively or efficiently without internet of things (IoT) technology; and recent events in the Ukraine have shown that large-scale attacks against power grids can succeed. Beginning July 1, 2016, utilities must comply with NERC’s Critical Infrastructure Protection standard, v6, which features an expanded scope and emphasis on security, compared to previous NERC CIP regimes. Most U.S. utilities already enjoy a relatively high level of awareness and sophistication about cybersecurity, compared to other industries — but there are some common weak spots. To respond effectively to ever-shifting cyber threats and vulnerabilities, utilities must adopt a risk-based security approach that exceeds regulatory requirements. This paper recommends an integrated utility security program that encompasses physical and digital security technology, staffing and training, leadership support, cross-departmental collaboration and cross-sector coordination.

PV Module Reliability Scorecard Report 2016

DNV GL (formerly PV Evolution Labs), a global firm that delivers world-renowned testing, certification and advisory services to the entire energy value chain, is proud to present the 2016 PV Module Reliability Scorecard which provides unparalleled technical comparisons of PV module reliability. With full-life field data more than twenty years away and without access to publicly available data comparing long-term module reliability by vendor, how can buyers and investors factor quality into their procurement discussions?

Over the past few years independent lab data has established a critical role in evaluating PV module quality and long term reliability. DNV GL’s PV module testing lab, founded in 2010, was the first lab to offer PV equipment testing services focused at the downstream market (banks, developers, IPPs, etc.). The PVEL-GTM PV Module Reliability Scorecard aims to address the lack of publicly available long-term PV module data. The evaluation includes environmental testing that goes beyond traditional module certification testing. With its supplier-specific performance analysis, the Scorecard can help investors and developers generate quality-backed procurement strategies to ensure long-term project viability.

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